Stay in the Black with a Greener Fleet

4 Ways Bad Driving Habits Affect Your Bottom Line

April 23, 2018 | Ashley Benjamin |

Green driving isn’t just about helping the environment, it’s about making sure your fleet is running as efficiently as possible while sending the right message to the community about your business.

Drivers represent a company’s brand when they’re on the road. Enforcing good driving habits helps ensure that your drivers are being responsible company ambassadors who meet your driving standards.

It’s no surprise that green driving habits will save you money on fuel and maintenance costs. You know excessive idling hurts operating costs, and that it’s counterproductive for drivers to accelerate and break too harshly. But do you know how much damage those poor driving habits have on your bottom line? Or just how much of an impact you can have on reducing overall costs per mile by making sure your drivers practice good driving habits on a daily basis?

Here are some stats that might surprise you.

Tire Pressure is Putting Pressure on Your Budget

Soft tires are costing your company money. You could be spending about 3% more on fuel costs every year if your fleet’s tires aren’t properly inflated.

When your fleet vehicles’ tires have the right amount of air pressure, they create less friction driving down the road so it’s easier for the engine to move the vehicle forward. It also extends the life each tire, helping you keep yearly replacement costs down.

Enforcing Good Driving Habits Pays Off

Speeding, quickly accelerating, and braking harshly will add about 33% to fuel costs every year.

A driver’s speed is the biggest factor in all of this. Speeding trucks take longer to brake, and the process causes more wear and tear on the vehicle. Engines are usually most efficient going about 60 mph; every 5 miles over that can decrease engine efficiency by as much as 6%.

Idling Trucks Drive Up Costs

If a vehicle is stopped for more than 10 seconds, it takes less gas to restart the engine than to leave it running. Your vehicles can burn a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour while idling, depending on the size of the engine and whether or not the AC is on.

Idling keeps the engine going too, creating more wear and tear on the vehicle and adding to your overall cost per mile. The pistons might not be firing, but belts are still moving.

It might even be illegal depending on where your drivers are. Idle car bans exist in about 30 states and growing. In New York, for example, heavy-duty vehicles like diesel trucks and buses aren’t permitted to idle for more than five minutes at a time.

Inspection Routines and Maintenance Schedules Add to a Fleet’s Lifespan

It costs about the same to pay for a new car for one year as it does to properly maintain a paid-off car for five years according to statistics from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Preventative maintenance goes a long way in making fleets more cost-effective. The less friction an engine is dealing with, the less energy it expels running the vehicle, saving on gas and repairs and adding to a vehicle’s lifespan.

Making sure maintenance schedules are followed and driver vehicle inspections are completed will help your fleet avoid issues that cause more damage and cost your company more money down the road.

Tracking driver behavior is key to running a greener fleet. Schedule a demo today to learn how our solutions can help your business operate smoother and more efficiently.

Ashley Benjamin

Ashley Benjamin is a Public Relations and Media Specialist who served as a journalist for nearly a decade. Now, as a Content Specialist at Forward Thinking, Ashley focuses on putting together information that helps businesses better understand complicated industry issues, meet federal regulations, and optimize daily operations.

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